An artist-historian and author, Herbert “Herb” Kawainui Kāne (June 21, 1928–March 8, 2011) had a special interest in Hawai‘i and the South Pacific. Born in 1928, he was raised in Waipi‘o Valley and Hilo on Hawai‘i Island, and Wisconsin. After Navy service, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago. His residence for many years was in rural South Kona on Hawai‘i Island.
Herb’s career experience has included advertising art, publishing art, architectural design, painting, writing, and sculpture.
Herb is well known on so many different levels. Most of Herb’s art was heavily researched making sure that everything was historically accurate, even when it came to the weather and cloud coverage at that time in history. He had contacts in all around the globe who helped him achieve accuracy in his research. His art was created by an achievement of tireless research and this all adds to the value of his paintings.
A co-founder of the Polynesian Voyaging Society he began work on the Hōkūle‘a, a voyaging canoe based on historical Polynesian design, capable of sailing between Hawaiʻi and Tahiti. He would be so proud of the four-year World Wide Voyage that begins May 2014.
In 1984 he was elected a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i. In 1987, Year of the Hawaiian Celebration, he was one of sixteen persons chosen as Po‘okela (champion)